This post is brought to you by Pepperidge Farm® Milano® cookies, but concerns my own opinion
Family travel can be exhilarating and is a prime opportunity to make memories with your kids. However, when you travel long term with your kids like I do, sometimes momma just needs a break. Am I right? Of course I am. After all, “Mother knows best.” That said, carving out that ever important “me time” can prove challenging when the very environment of long term travel away from the house generally puts you in the same room as your children 24 hours a day. What’s a tired and worn out wandering mom to do when her nomads in training start wearing on her last nerve? Below are some of my tips for staying sane and freeing up some time for yourself when on the road with your family.
1. Implement that Afternoon Break
The best thing I ever did on a recent trip to Disney World was implement the afternoon break. My boys are all way past the “nap” age, but after a busy hot day in a theme park, we were all starting to get on each other’s bad sides. The afternoon break let them cool off and enjoy some down time, but also freed up some down time for me. While they were watching movies or taking a swim, I was catching up on a good book and nibbling my favorite treats.
2. Set Aside Your Own Special Treats
Speaking of favorite treats. I know some people would gasp at a mother withholding food from her young ones, but believe it or not, it is okay to set aside special treats for yourself. I make sure the boys have all of their favorite snacks when we are traveling, but I make sure I have mine too, and when I can sneak away even a few simple minutes to myself, I thoroughly enjoy treats like my Milano cookies. You know the ones. Pepperidge Farm has three new flavors to their Milano cookie line up, Salted Caramel, Mocha and Banana (which is a limited edition for Spring. ) You can bet this momma is going to be trying all three.
3. Take Advantage of Local Activities
When traveling, we always look for local classes or activities that the boys can take part in. A local town might have a kid’s cooking class at the local community center. This is not only fun for the kids, but it buys you a little down time too. In the photo above, the boys attended a 30 minute class in old folk instruments at a local State Park on our 50 day road trip while I had some “me” time.
4. Entertaining Children is not Your Full-Time Job
When we first started traveling, the boys thought it was my responsibility to fill every minute of their day with fun and entertainment. As soon as I realized it is not my full-time job to entertain them all day while we are on the road, things when a lot smoother and I found more “me time.” Now, if we are at a campground, I encourage them to seek out new things to explore or games to play amongst themselves.
Traveling with kids can be both rewarding and draining. To avoid getting burnt out, be sure to use tips like those above to carve out even a few minutes of “me time” per day to keep yourself sane and the whole party happy.